Fast Company Does Blogging GoodPosted: July 16, 2008
Apologies for being an infrequent poster/MIA in the past week or so. With planning for once-in-a-lifetime events, my time has been both scattered and scarce. I cross-posted my last post (“Staying Motivated“) on Fast Company and have been enjoying the work of other member blogs on the site.
I think Fast Company is a prime example of a site that integrates user-generated member blogs that are effective in surfacing stellar, thought-leader-quality content which just so happens to be wildly entertaining.
A recent post by work-life “expert” Tom Stern had me in stiches. While member blogs don’t necessarily fall under the realm of “expert,” the fact that Fast Company strategically positions their blogs to appear in the same format and pushed to the top of the queue alongside their experts and resident in-house bloggers makes for a certain distinguished prominence on the site’s landing page.
The bottom line being: What do I care if Tom Sterns is an “expert” or a “member”? When I first read his stuff, I thought he was a regular Jo Schmo, non-expert plebe like myself. If it’s good content, the content will speak for itself and by process of natural selection get pushed to the top of the page. FC’s system works to everyone’s advantage. It’s egalatarian, socially-conscious, and people with great ideas get to participate in the dialogue for free!
Other new sites, like Yahoo’s “Shine” (a women’s fashion and beauty rag) have adopted a similar automated model of giving Yahoo users the ability to upload their blog posts on the actual site. No one actually sees the post however unless Shine editors decide to use the entry and they only use entries which start with “Miley,” “Becks” or “Madonna.” Trust me. I know.
Last year, I blogged for the now defunct Boston Now last year. Boston Now was a decent enough experiment whose model was a tad near and dear to my heart and not all that unlike most historically print publications (Inc, Fast Company, Entrepreneur) whose attempts to change with the times by going digital has had their share of growing pains.
Boston Now was a good opportunity for local Boston bloggers to get exposure because it reached the same massive commuter audience as the Metro papers. I benefited from having several of my blog posts featured in the AM paper. I don’t think it was because the posts were all that great. Truth be told, the competition was non-existent.
The Boston Now experience gave some good press to my site. While the technology they used for their blogs was a tad archaic – everyone had their very own WordPress blog which was linked to the site’s main page by category so there no consistent look to any of the users’ blogs, it had the potential of working successfully and benefiting its users, if its users actually wanted to use the platform and get with the conversation. And in the end, the whole experiment proved entirely way too futile for their users to be bothered. Present fast company included.